Monday, June 29, 2009

Homosexualists Revel with Pride for Gay Agenda Victories

It is reflected in the surge of gay men and lesbians on television and in public office, and in polls measuring a steady rise in support for gay rights measures.
Sunday's [Gay Pride] parade . . . The traditionally flamboyant floats of bare-chested men and near-bare-chested women were flanked by floats carrying straight politicians and gay and lesbian police officers, church groups and, for the first time, a coalition of parents -- gay, straight and lesbian -- from a Chicago public school.

-- From "Chicago gay pride parade glows in its growing acceptance" by Rex W. Huppke, Chicago Tribune reporter 6/29/09

Gay pride marched Sunday in Chicago, noisy and joyous. It was the crash of marching band cymbals, the megaphoned whoops of celebration, the sirens, the car horns and the ground-shaking roar of Harleys straddled by leather-clad women unabashed.

It was smiling faces striped in rainbow colors, sweaty brows turned to face a cool summer breeze, women hand-in-hand, men kissing men, children on the shoulders of straight parents, dazzled by the flags and shimmering floats and dancers that filled North Halsted Street.

The parade now pulls the curtain back on Chicago's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and shows its diversity: Republicans and Democrats; Christians and atheists; buttoned-down businesspeople and outlandish artists.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Political Shifts on Gay Rights Lag Behind Culture" by Adam Nagourney, New York Times, 6/28/09

[Today,] Monday, 250 gay leaders are to join Mr. Obama in the East Room to commemorate publicly the 40th anniversary of the birth of the modern gay rights movement: a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York.

The conflicting signals from the White House about its commitment to gay issues reflect a broader paradox: even as cultural acceptance of homosexuality increases across the country, the politics of gay rights remains full of crosscurrents.

Yet if the culture is moving on, national politics is not, or at least not as rapidly. Mr. Obama has yet to fulfill a campaign promise to repeal the policy barring openly gay people from serving in the military. The prospects that Congress will ever send him a bill overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, appear dim. An effort to extend hate-crime legislation to include gay victims has produced a bitter backlash in some quarters: Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, sent a letter to clerics in his state arguing that it would be destructive to “faith, families and freedom.”

Some elected Democrats in Washington remain wary because they remember how conservatives used same-sex marriage and gay service in the military against them as political issues. The Obama White House in particular is reluctant to embrace gay rights issues now, officials there say, because they do not want to provide social conservatives a rallying cry while the president is trying to assemble legislative coalitions on health care and other initiatives.

Conservative Democrats have at best been unenthusiastic about efforts to push gay rights measures in Congress; 30 Democrats voted against a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation that passed the House in 2007. (It died in the Senate.) And a half-dozen Democrats declined requests to discuss this issue, reflecting what aides called the complicated politics surrounding it.

Still, there are signs that the issue is not as pressing or toxic as it once was. “I don’t think it’s the political deal-breaker it once was,” said Dave Saunders, a southern Virginia Democratic consultant who has advised Democrats running for office in conservative rural areas. “Most people out here really don’t care because everybody has gay friends.”

Interviews with gay leaders suggest a consensus that there has been nothing short of a cultural transformation in the space of just a few years, even if it is reflected more in the evolving culture of the country than in the body of its laws.

Democrats now control the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time since 1994, increasing the chances of legislative action. Mr. Frank said that over the next two years, he expected Congress to overturn the ban on gay service in the military, pass legislation prohibiting discrimination against hiring gay workers, and extend the hate-crime bill to crimes involving gay couples.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.